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Red Meat Tied to Increasing Risk of Type Two Diabetes

Update Date: Jun 18, 2013 11:36 AM EDT

Despite how delicious red meats, like steak and ribs, are, this group of foods is once again the culprit for contributing to poor health. Previous studies have tied red meat to several health conditions, such as obesity and heart disease. On top of those studies, other researchers have linked vegetarianism to a longer life. With more evidence building against red meat, people might start to reconsider what goes into their diets. In the latest study, researchers have tied consumption of red meats to increasing the risk of developing type two diabetes.

"This is stronger evidence that red meat consumption contributes to an increased risk of diabetes," commented Frank Hu, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard school of Public Health according to USA Today.

The research team, headed by Pan An, an assistant professor from the National University of Singapore and his colleagues, reviewed data from three cohort studies conducted by Harvard University researchers. These three studies included over 26,300 men that were a part of the Health Processionals Follow-Up Study, over 48,700 women from the Nurses' Health Study and over 74,000 women from the Nurses' Health Study II. From these cohorts, the research team received data on all participants' eating habits. The participants were questioned every four years for around 12 to 16 years. The average consumption of red meat per day was one and a half servings.

The research team found that during that time, 7,540 participants were diagnosed with type two diabetes. These people who developed type two diabetes ate red meat more frequently than the others did from all three cohorts. The researchers found that participants who ate more than half a serving of red met every day since the study started were at a 48 percent greater risk of developing diabetes. Not only were these participants more susceptible to diabetes, they were generally heavier as well. Despite this finding, the researchers remind people that red meat and saturated fats are not the only contributors to type two diabetes. Other factors, such as exercise affect people's risks as well.

The findings were published in JAMA Internal Medicine

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